What's Up With This?

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Okay my brothers and sisters. I thought I had seen it and heard it all on this website. But about a month ago I saw a stewardess forcibly uncross the legs of a female congregant at the altar. It was ugly!!!! I asked this good sister why did she disturb the worship of her sister in Christ. She told me that women should not cross their legs when kneeling. Why I asked, and in response she said It is disrepectful to God. How did you reach that conclusion I asked, I am sure its in the Bible and that is the way we were raised.

Lawd, Have mercy on my soul if one more AME justifies silliness with that phrase. Why do we do these things, also include in this discussion, head coverings for females in communion, those horrendous looking bonnets worn by stewardess and deaconesses. My apologies in advance to any one who has been offended. I love y'all.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003


Brother Gibson:

I think that many of us have good intentions in our interpretations of church etiquette. Unfortunately, sometimes in our good intentions, we don't go about correcting one another in the most positive way. And sometimes we have misguided information for why we do what we do.

Many of our perceptions of the world and/ -or the way we interpret things are based on our specific experiences, the experiences of others or the trainings and teachings of people who we believe to be creditable- (our parents, our church leaders, the Bible). Maybe this particular stewardess was taught that crossing legs in church is unexceptable behaviour and has experienced instances of ridicule or another type of negitive consequence for doing such. The stewardesses of the AME Church are supposed to be the pious and upstanding women in the Church (to paraphrase the Discipline). She probably thought that she was doing her job.

However, unpleasant types of church enforcement is not limited to AMEs. All Christians should be mindful that in our attempts to live holy and help others to do the same, that we not be gulity of the same behavior as your Stewardess. Let us remember to watch the way in which we reprimand and correct one another. I've been a victim of the church etiquette police. Though it was an unpleasant experience, I had to step back and pray for the person who believed that they were doing their job. Hopefully your church member who is comfortable in teaching others is also comfortable in relearning ways in which to work best in God's kingdom.

As for the Stewardess attire, I really don't think that you had to go there. All tradition isn't bad and won't hurt you. :)

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

Brother Gibson:

I hope the stewardess' victim is alright. It seems as though the stewardess thought she was doing the right thing, but just ended up harassing this poor woman.

A couple of years ago, I heard one of the funniest stories. A preacher described his ushers, and the formalities they used for years that made absolutely no sense. He asked a head usher, why he did such and such. The head usher replied "because that is what I do. The head usher before me did it and the one that preced him as well. This is what we do." The preacher asked again, "but why do you do it." The head usher replied, "because that is what the head usher does."

It made no sense whatsoever, but the tradition continued.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

Brother Harold...the bonnet worn by the deaconess is a symbol for work. It symbolizes working in the vineyard, assisting in the labor of the gospel. I have often heard this explanation given during the consecration of widows into the office of deaconess at annual conference.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

Sis. Terry: I had to go there on the bonnets, at my church we are down to one physically able stewardess. She has many helpers but none of the women in the church are willing to wear the bonnet. And I know it's about service, but the sisters have gone around to other conferences and districts and have peeped update attire and want a change but the last stewardess standing is absolutely against changing the uniform. Our Pastor will be in tough shape should anything happen to this 80+ person.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

The covering of a woman's head is covered in I Corinthians I believe. Unfortunately the exact chapter and scripture does not come to mind. When I have it I will gladly post it.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2003

Brother Harold -

What would be the reaction if I attempted to uncross the legs of a shapely female minister in the pulpit based on my "conviction" that such a posture is not becoming of a member of the clergy? I can only imagine the number of complimentary remarks awaiting me as I returned to my comfortable seat. Some of our corrective methods leave much to be desired. QED

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2003

Brother Bill you always make me smile! Which is why I always think of you as my baby brother, though you are older than I. You are little a little kid trapped in a grown man's body. I know we do not have to worry about you trying something like that with a clergy woman who has crossed her llegs. For one look from sister Jenny will stop you in your tracks. Bill I hope you never change. You are a treasure and a delight!

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2003

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